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Hart gets his chance

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <img width="290" height="193" alt="Clinton Hart" title="Clinton Hart" src="http://www.bolttalk.com/gallery/albums/MiniCamp2006/normal_img_3344.jpg" />

    Strong safety Clinton Hart thought he might be a starter after a solid training camp. Come Sunday, he does trot out with the first unit, but it's not the way he wanted to earn his stripes.

    "It's bittersweet," said Hart, who started three games at free safety and two at strong last year. "But I have to focus on being able to step in and bring what he brought to this defense. I just have something to prove and I have to go out and do what I can do to and help us get to where we need to be. And that is 3-0."

    Hart is thrust into the fire after starter Terrence Kiel was arrested on Tuesday on five felony drug charges. When Kiel returns remains a mystery, but it's no farfetched guess that Hart's time has come.

    Hart was part of a meeting Wednesday that was attended by just the defensive backs. Not only has the unit lost Kiel for an undetermined amount of time, but Bhawoh Jue, a starting safety last year, had knee surgery on Tuesday and is down at least one week.

    So cornerback Drayton Florence called a meeting in which the defensive backs stressed now is not the time to get distracted.

    "We have to make that fist a little bit tighter; we still got to do that," said Hart, a four-year pro. "Kiel is still our boy and we are supporting him 100 percent. We got a big game this week and that is our main focus. We are going to let everything else take care of itself."

    But all teams hate distractions. And for the second time in four games, the week leading up to the contests has been marred by reports of a Charger running afoul of the law. Before the opener, linebacker Steve Foley was shot three times in an altercation with an off-duty police officer.

    But the Chargers were able to put that behind them and demolish the Raiders. They think they can do it again Sunday when matching undefeated records with the Ravens.

    "We're together, this team is focused," said linebacker Randall Godfrey. "We've got great leadership on this team. I think we're focused on Baltimore right now."

    Said running back LaDainian Tomlinson: "It's a tough deal, but it's not a distraction, because I think for the simple fact we can't allow it to become a distraction. We are professionals."
     

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